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Everything You Need To Know About PVC Plastic-2

The Base Forms and Functions of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

PVC is produced in two general forms: a rigid or unplasticized polymer (RPVC or uPVC), and the second as a flexible plastic. 

In its base form, PVC is characterized by its rigid yet brittle structure. While the plasticized version holds various uses across multiple industries, the rigid version of PVC also has its share of uses. Industries such as plumbing, sewage, and agriculture can utilize rigid PVC across many functions. 

Flexible, plasticized, or regular PVC is softer and more amenable to bending than uPVC due to the addition of plasticizers like phthalates (e.g., diisononyl phthalate or DINP). 

Flexible PVC is commonly used in construction as insulation on electrical wires or in flooring for homes, hospitals, schools, and other areas where a sterile environment is a priority. 

In some cases, PVC can act as an effective replacement for rubber. Rigid PVC is also used in construction as a pipe for plumbing and siding, commonly referred to by the term "vinyl" in the United States. PVC pipe is often referred to by its "schedule" (e.g., Schedule 40 or Schedule 80). Significant differences between the schedules include things like wall thickness, pressure rating, and color.

Some of PVC plastic's most important characteristics include its relatively low price, its resistance to environmental degradation (as well as to chemicals and alkalis), high hardness, and outstanding tensile strength for plastic in the case of rigid PVC. PVC remains widely available, commonly used, and easily recyclable (categorized by resin identification code "3").

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